isabel cañada luna is the type of artist that understands the obstacles found in all music related professions. this seasoned soprano opera singer has been a successful life performer and vocal coach.
Her success did not come easy growing up in a family that had to deal with financial struggles. This situation forced her to start working from a very young age and this has helped her stay grounded even as she accomplishes new and exciting goals in her career.
We had the pleasure of talking to Isabel to get to know the person behind the talented artist. We discussed her interests, inspirations and some of her most memorable experiences as an opera singer.
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please introduce yourself for those who do not know. who is Isabel?
My name is Isabel Cañada, I’m from Spain, and I am an opera singer, a soprano. I am fortunate enough to work in my passion — music — not only as a performer but also as a vocal coach. I’m horrible with names and birthdays (so, sorry in advance). Maybe this is because I’m blond, but more likely because all of my brain power is used on music. It would be nice if I could free up some space by forgetting all the useless song lyrics I’ve memorized over the years, voluntarily or otherwise, but no luck so far!
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how was your music journey so far? how did you start getting into vocal coaching?
I can’t complain (laughs). When you love your work everything becomes easier. I started with vocal coaching about twelve years ago, but I really got into it upon finishing my degree in voice, and I realized at that moment how many things you learn at the same time that you are teaching. So, I decided to combine my music career with vocal coaching, not only opera, but other genres like pop, jazz or traditional music, too.
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what were the hurdles you faced growing up pursuing your passion?
Well, looking back, I realize that I’ve been very lucky in life and everything happens for a reason, but if I have to say something, maybe because my family was not particularly well off at that time, and I had to start working really young and work really hard to earn a government scholarship to for pay my studies.
who inspired you? why opera among other genres?
My mum was my inspiration. She naturally has an amazing soprano voice and she has shared her love of music with me since I was an infant. She used to sing to me all the time, because she says that was the only way to calm me down. We use to spend whole afternoons singing together and playing the guitar.
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what’s a typical day for isabel cañada?
Generally I use the mornings to practice and rehearse for the upcoming concerts. It’s very important for a singer to practice because our voice is like a muscle and we need to keep it in shape.
In the afternoon, I coach my voice students and in the evening I relax — that is when I’m not performing.
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we noticed your keen interest in arabic music. what influenced that?
The south of Spain, where myself and my family are originally from, has a deep Arab influence because it was a Muslim territory in the Middle Ages.
But I didn’t realize how profound the influence was until I moved to the UAE and I started to see how many things we have in common, especially music. That’s why I started to explore Arab music — and of course I fell in love with it!
I guess because I never forget where I come from and the hard work it’s taken me to get where I am today.
everything is better with a smile.
how do you keep yourself grounded considering you’ve made a name for yourself?
That’s a funny question. I am not very tall so it’s not difficult (laughs). I guess because I never forget where I come from and the hard work it’s taken me to get where I am today.
how do you see the opera music scene in dubai?
Dubai is indisputably the ideal place to develop virtually any career, although the opera scene is currently in its budding stage.
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what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far in life?
That everything is better with a smile.
what advise would you give to an aspiring opera singer?
I would encourage anyone aspiring to become an opera singer to do so, yet to keep in mind that it is a never-ending process in which there is always something more to learn and areas to perfect.
It is important, however, to set reasonable short-term goals in order to reach the ultimate goal of being a professional performer.
what’s the biggest performance you’ve done? how did it feel like?
Because I love to sing, it is hard for me to choose “the biggest one” because all of them have been an amazing experience for me.
But if I had to choose one, I would say the time that I performed Così fan tutte, because I really enjoyed the role of Despina. For those who don’t know her, she is a housekeeper who takes care of two rich, young ladies, but instead of being very strict and protective, she really teaches them about the ways of the world in a very funny way, encouraging them to enjoy life and explore.
what’s your biggest dream in the future?
My only ambition is to stay on my current the path, and to continue being fulfilled both personally and professionally.
Artists like Isabel Cañada are an outstanding source of inspiration for any struggling artists that feel like they are having a hard time achieving their goals. Dreaming big is important, but being able to set smaller goals in order to take your journey one step at a time is going to be of paramount importance. A passionate artist is always going to find a way to achieve their goals as long as there is true love for their craft, and that is one of the most valuable lessons that any aspiring artist can learn.